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Liberty Bay Trail may roll in December

POULSBO — Though it may be a close call, work on the Liberty Bay Trail will likely begin in 2003 as promised.

The pedestrian route along the west side of Fjord Drive south to Lemolo Shore Drive was proposed more than three years ago. Residents in the area had complained of inadequate walking facilities and had reported near misses with vehicles in the past.

Construction of the trail was supposed to go forward in the summer of 2003, however, it was held back waiting for final permits.

“A couple of weeks ago, I just got the last one,” City Engineer John Stephenson said with a chuckle last week. “It’s been over three years working on this.”

The $300,000 project price tag is paid for through a $260,000 federal grant and $20,000 in matching funds from the City of Poulsbo and Kitsap County. The federal funding source required the project to undergo a rigorous permitting process, which created the delay.

Now, Stephenson said, the project should be out to bid within the next two weeks and he hopes to have some work take place in mid December.

“I think the plan would be to do the sidewalk infill sections between (the corner of Fjord and) Hostmark and (the corner of Fjord and) 6th Avenue soon and defer actual trail work from 6th south to sometime in the spring,” Stephenson said.

Filling in sidewalk portions will also include cutting handicap access ramps into curbs where they are not presently located.

The sidewalk work will likely take between three and four days once it has begun.

Stephenson explained that the trail portion of the project includes adding six feet of paved area from the existing fog line toward the water.

In one 300-400 foot area within the Poulsbo city limits, the land waterside has sloughed off, leaving less than six feet past the fog line. In this instance, Stephenson said six feet of paved area will be added on the upland portion and the road moved east to create a new fog line. This work will not widen the road, however, he cautioned.

“This is trail money, it’s all non-motorized,” Stephenson said.

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